Cardinal Meaning and Symbolism
Nov 10
Discover Cardinal Symbolism

Cardinal Meaning and Symbolism

Overview of the Cardinal Spirit Animal


Cardinal Symbolism is as rich and colorful as this familiar North American songbird.  This bird is symbolic of someone who is regal or of noble birth.  Because of the males vibrant red plumage and the females rich brown red tones it’s no wonder they’re associated with wealth and confidence.  As a spirit animal they sing out guidance and direction for our lives and provide us with much needed beauty.


Embrace Your Spirit Animal


Encounters with the Cardinal

What is the meaning of cardinal symbolism? Find out what symbol the cardinal spirit animal is trying to teach you, and gain some insight into your life.

Have you been keeping quiet?

Cardinal totem people are known for being creative! Have you been keeping your ideas to yourself?  If you’ve been keeping quiet the cardinal is telling you to speak out.  These songbirds are known for their beautiful and complex songs.  So sing out your ideas – even if you think others might not understand.

Has your life felt dull?

The cardinal has swooped into your life to bring you joy!  When life feels dull make some purposeful changes.  A simple change can be adding vibrant colors to your wardrobe.  Don’t be afraid to stand out.  Surround yourself with beauty!

Do you need to change your diet?

When your life is feeling down and dull the cardinal can remind you to make sure you’re eating well!  So, they get their bright luminous colors from pigments found in berries and other plant materials found in their diet.  When they eat poorly it’s reflected in them appearing dull outwardly.  Consider your diet and make healthy changes!

Have you come under attack?

It doesn’t matter if it’s at work or in a relationship being attacked never feels good.  When a cardinal appears to you during a time of distress it’s a sign to retreat to safe ground.  Cardinals prefer to live in dense thickets close to the ground.  This provides them with shelter and protection from predators.  Find a safe place where you can process and plan how to handle the situation.

Are you looking for love?

When it comes to cardinal symbolism you can say it’s a sign for love.  From it’s rich red hues to it’s beautiful songs.  If you’ve been looking for love and the cardinal has appeared in your life don’t give up!  It’s a sign to take chances and look for love in unexpected places.

Cardinal Symbolism: The Cardinal Spirit

Could the Cardinal be my spirit animal? What are the traits of the totem? This might be your spirit animal if you are:


One trait that comes naturally to a cardinal totem person is compassion.  This is not limited to people close to you but is extended to everyone you meet.  You have the ability to see past outward appearances and see the person behind it all.  When your heart is soft and open you will be able to show compassion.  Even to the most unlikely of people.


When it comes to cardinal symbolism this totem embodies a boldness that comes not from the head but from the heart.  This is the type of boldness the world needs because there is a purity to it.  People with this spirit animal will be able to harness a boldness that betters the world and the people around them.  When you find yourself in a situation where you need to be bold allow the cardinal to fill you with the strength you need!

Cardinal Symbolism
Learn more about Cardinal Symbolism


People with this spirit animal are very spiritual.  They love the routine and familiarity of their religion or the beliefs and teachings. Especially what they were taught when they were young.  Their devotion is not typically shown in times of meditation but in day to day actions.  They are very prayerful and will often petition for the wellbeing of friends and loved ones.


It doesn’t matter if it’s at work or in a relationship or to a set of ideals cardinal totem people are very faithful.  When you believe in something they will stand behind it no matter what.  You can always count on them in friendships and relationships to keep on caring.  It doesn’t matter if days, weeks, or years have gone by they will always be there for their friends.

What are the Traits of the Cardinal Totem?

Lessons from the Cardinal Spirit Animal

Cardinals are:

  • Confident
  • Leaders
  • Victorious
  • Regal
  • Joyful
Learn more about: Cardinal Meaning

As spirit guides cardinals usher in seasons of victory and wealth.  Wealth and victory can come in the traditional sense but it can also manifest in other areas of our lives.  In friendships or relationships that have needed breakthrough or even in our work lives.  When the redbird swoops into your life it’s a sign to start looking for ways you are becoming wealthy.  Confident and regal these joyful birds tell us to embrace ourselves no matter where we are – embrace a state of mind that celebrates your own personal journey.

What does the cardinal spirit mean? Have faith and compassion! Cardinal spirit animal people are faithful and compassionate in every area of life.

Strengths & Weaknesses of the Cardinal

Cardinal Totem


Team Work

When it comes to raising young cardinals are incredible parents.  They are known for working together to accomplish their goal! Whether it’s gathering insects for the young or bringing the other parent food.  They work together!  As a redbird totem person the ability to work with a team to accomplish a common goal will come as second nature.  This strength makes you a powerful mate, team player or employee.

Speaking Truth

Cardinals have strong thick orange beaks that can easily crack open seeds and nuts.  One strength of this totem is the ability to speak out and crush lies or false information.  If you find yourself confronted with false information don’t be afraid to speak out.  Use your gift to crush and breakdown lies and speak out the truth.


Now cardinals or redbirds as they are also called are monogamous meaning they mate for life.  In friendships and relationships cardinal totem people are well known for their fidelity.  Through good times and bad they will stick close to their loved ones.  You can always count on them to be by your side during no matter what is happening.


Self Sabotage

In the wild cardinals have been witnessed attacking their own reflection in windows.  Are you working toward a goal or a dream only to keep finding yourself at a dead end?  Cardinal totem people need to careful not to self sabotage when working toward goals.  Sometimes the only thing standing in our way of success is ourselves.  Take time to evaluate if you need to get out of your own way!


One weakness you need to be careful to avoid is bragging!  These birds are known for their beautiful and complex songs.  For cardinal totem people it can be easy to slip into a place where you’re constantly singing your own praises.  While on occasion it’s okay to share the good things in your life be aware of others around you.  Make sure they are enjoying your stories otherwise they may shut you out!


Now redbirds are peaceful social birds.  Cardinals are known for gathering together in large flocks during the cold winter months.  Just before and during mating season they can take an ugly turn.  They can become fiercely aggressive and territorial.  In fact it’s not uncommon for them to be seen attacking their own reflections in windows and mirrors.  It’s important for cardinal totem people to know who their competition is and not to just fight anyone who might be a threat to their position or relationship.

Learn More: About the Cardinal Totem
What is the Cardinal Meaning?

The Cardinal in Dreams: What it Means

A cardinal or redbird is said to be a sign of loved ones who have passed on.  Especially if you’ve been thinking about them or missing them.  When one visits you in a dream it is a loved one visiting you and offering you love and comfort.

Seeing a cardinal in your dreams can also mean that someone is needing your attention!  Look closely for someone who may be needing extra love and compassion this season.

When you dream about a cardinal it can also indicate that you’re about to enter into a new season. This new season can be one of prosperity, creativity and celebration.
animal symbolism in dreams

Cultural and Spiritual Symbolism of the Cardinal

animal meaning in your life

Christianity – the cardinal or redbird is a symbol for faith and the blood of Jesus.  It is a sign of eternal life and sins being cleansed.

Catholic – it is said that the cardinal bird was named after the bright red robes high ranking catholic clergy wear.

Native American – in many tribes birds are especially revered for their healing abilities.  And for being messengers to the Great Spirit.  The cardinal is no exception and is seen as a guide and a powerful healer.

Asia – because red is considered a lucky color it’s no wonder the cardinal is called the, “Luckiest Bird”. It is a symbol for good luck and prosperity!

Historical Facts

The Christmas Cardinal symbolism is a traditional symbol of hope and faith that winter will end.  It has become a popular bird for holiday and winter decor.  Hanging a cardinal ornament on a tree or a wreath will bring you good luck in the new year.

Animal Quotes

The reason birds can fly and we can’t is simply because they have perfect faith, for to have faith is to have wings.
J.M. Barrie, The Little White Bird
Once upon a time, when women were birds, there was the simple understanding that to sing at dawn and to sing at dusk was to heal the world through joy. The birds still remember what we have forgotten, that the world is meant to be celebrated.
Terry Tempest Williams, When Women Were Birds: Fifty-four Variations on Voice

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